Deciphering the importance of which teams attended which schools’ pro days can often be a fruitless task, as the progressive movement towards virtual information has become more popular in the NFL scouting world. Teams spend months gathering information on prospects, scouting games, watching film, conducting interviews, and studying the Combine, but you can often gain more information seeing a player practice in person, which is the true value of pro days.
The Detroit Lions send a wealth of personnel—scouts, coaches, front office executives—to nearly every pro day they can, but every once in a while there is an obvious connection worth recognizing.
For example, when Lions’ legend and executive Chris Spielman and linebackers coach Kelvin Sheppard not only attended Georgia’s pro day but put their linebackers through drills, it was worth paying attention to. Sending general manager Brad Holmes and defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn to Michigan to meet with first-round prospects edge rusher Aidan Hutchingson and safety Daxton Hill, was also a “take note” moment—especially considering Glenn, a former corner, had a meeting with Hill, a do it all defensive back.
Another example of a notable connection happened on Thursday when newly appointed Lions’ safeties coach Brian Duker attended Penn State’s pro day, which is headlined by safety Jaquan Brisker.
NFL position coaches, including Eagles DC Jonathan Gannon, in attendance for Penn State pro-day per @PennStateFball:— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) March 24, 2022
* WR- BAL, NE, NYJ
* DL- CHI, HOU
* LB- AZ, CIN, NYJ, NYG, NO, PIT
* DB- BAL, BUF, DET, HOU, NYG, PIT
* ST- BUF, IND, LAC, PHI, TEN#TheDraftStartsInMOBILE™️ pic.twitter.com/EOr2pOUUW7
Brisker has been mocked to the Lions at picks No. 32 and 34 several times this offseason and for good reason. After Notre Dame’s Kyle Hamilton, Brisker and Michigan’s Hill are contending to be the next safety off the board, and all three would fit the Lions' split-zone safety scheme.
A two-year starter at Penn State, Brisker (6-foot-1, 200 pounds) can line up at both safety spots, as well as in the slot over tight ends and in the box. He’s a big hitter and sure tackler, which often gets him pegged as a strong safety-type. But in my opinion, he is ideally suited for a two-deep safety system that will allow him to move up and down levels—making him an ideal interchangeable safety with Tracy Walker.
PSU S Jaquan Brisker during on-field drills. pic.twitter.com/3yzABYSCP4— Andrew DiCecco (@ADiCeccoNFL) March 24, 2022
While Duker is the Lions’ safeties coach and Brisker was surely the reason he was in town, Penn State has several other prospects worth getting eyes on. Those include edge rusher Arnold Ebiketie (who was on the Jets roster at the Senior Bowl) and wide receiver Jahan Dotson—both of whom should be on the Lions’ radar at picks No. 32, 34 and possibly 66.